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Double Whammy Flattens Inbound Arrivals

SARS and Iraq Causing Drastic Drop in Arrivals.

(4/13/2003) According to Bisnis Indonesia's on-line edition, some tourism spokespersons claim inbound figures to Indonesia have dropped by as much as 95% in the past several weeks as a result of the SARS virus, accompanied by a drop in outbound travel by Indonesian nationals of some 90%.

Ms. Herna P. Danuningrat the Chairman of the Association of Indonesian Travel Agents (ASITA) announced these estimates of business lost based on a survey of ASITA members in the Nationís capital. She said, "We think the SARS virus is having a serious effect as travel agencies have practically lost their visitors from a number of East Asian and Southeast Asian countries affected by SARS."

Herna Danuningrat is suggesting that her member agencies now focus on the domestic market, given the problems of securing a medium and long-haul travel market at the present time.

ASITA in Jakarta is also urging its members not to panic, suggesting guest contact staff use medical masks to avoid the spread of the disease.